MESA, Ariz. – Despite a monster first quarter, the Lady Matadors found themselves playing from behind for most of the second half, before pulling out a 59-55 victory on the road over the Mesa Thunderbirds.
Arizona Western (9-15, 7-9 ACCAC) raced out to a 13 point lead at the end of the first quarter as everything went the way of the Matador. The Lady Mats hit on 4 of 6 three-pointers while essentially shutting down the T-Birds, holding Mesa to just 2 of 13 shooting from the field in the quarter.
But the shoe slipped onto the other foot in the second quarter as the Matadors couldn’t find a bucket shooting just 13% and missing all six three-point attempts. Mesa took the lead from the free-throw hitting on 8 of 11 attempts and added 46% shooting to take a two point half time lead.
The Mats trailed for most of the second half falling behind by as much as 11 and over half of their 21 turnovers in the final two quarters.
But down the stretch, the Matadors came up clutch.
With the game within one point, Harria Mendoza hit a monster three-pointer from the corner before a Matador defensive stop. Vinyet Garcia followed up with a three of her own before knocking down two final free-throws to lock down the win.
Mendoza was key to the Matadors throughout, leading the scoring effort with 15 points and adding 10 rebounds. Garcia added 13 points.
The win snaps the Matadors three-game road losing streak and pulls them even with the Thunderbirds in the ACCAC standings.
Saturday, the Matadors head home for the first time in two weeks, hosting Chandler-Gilbert at The House, beginning at 5:30pm
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma.